We see different dates on food items that we buy. Some of them have expiration dates but what do the dates really mean?

With every food item there is a date stamped on it but not every one of them is an expiration date. According to Business Insider the next time you go to the store you too can recognize the dates and really know what they mean:

  • Sell-by date: How long the store has to display the product
  • Use-by date: When manufacturer thinks the product will be at its peak quality
  • Best if used by date: The best date for flavor and quality

For many food items it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know when a food item has gone bad. For example, milk. More times than not you can do a quick sniff test and know whether or not it's time to dump out the remaining portion of the stuff.

But some food items may not have a tell-tale sign. This is the reason for the expiration dates.